The Fall of Hyperion picks up almost exactly where its predecessor left us. Yet, instead of continuing the third-person frame story with the pilgrims telling their tales, Simmons adds a new first-person viewpoint character who, by way of his dreams, is able to observe the pilgrims at the Time Tombs on Hyperion while simultaneously being positioned within the Hegemony's inner circle of power brokers. I admit that it is a strange mechanism to tell a story but Simmons is an excellent writer and he pulls it off quite well.
Like in Hyperion, Simmons continues the story's obsessive interplay with John Keats. We get a lot more of Keats in this one, as our narrator is another cybrid clone of Keats who has taken on the name of Keats's poet friend. I have never really been a Keats fan and Simmons fails to make me one. Much of the poetry and philosophy Simmons includes did not translate very well into audibook form, not because the narrator lacked skill, but because the reading of poetry is a more laborious task intended for the eye and the ear rather than the ear alone.
Unlike its predecessor, The Fall of Hyperion finally gives us the conclusion we crave, and it is spectacular. All of the pilgrim's stories come into play now, with each pilgrim's role in the fate of the Hegemony unraveling at the Time Tombs with the Shrike in tow. The Time Tombs, the Shrike, Moneta, the Ousters, and the TechnoCore are all explained. Simmons is a true master of the craft and The Fall of Hyperion does not disappoint.
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